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Dubai’s COVID-19 entry regulations for residents, visitors, tourists explained

Dubai Media Office clarifies GDRFA and DHA rules for all arriving passengers

Arrivals area at Dubai Airport Terminal 3.Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan, Gulf News

Dubai: With several readers seeking clarifications on COVID-19 entry regulations currently enforced in Dubai, Gulf News reached out to the authorities to get their questions answered.

Dubai Media Office has provided answers to questions related to immigration and health requirements [as on July 21, 2020] from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

Questions answered by the GDRFA

1.Which approvals are required for UAE residents returning via Dubai Airports?

UAE residence visa holders can apply through the ICA website while Dubai residence visa holders can apply through GDRFA Dubai to enter the emirate through Dubai International airports.

Once they get the approval, they can purchase airline tickets from Emirates airline, flydubai or any other airline operating at Dubai Airports.

2. Is Dubai Airports accepting both ICA and GDRFA permits?

Yes, Dubai Airports accept both approvals. If the resident obtained an approval from “Twajudi” service, he/she does not need to get another approval from ICA.

Dubai residence visa holders can apply through GDRFA Dubai to enter the emirate through Dubai International airports.

Questions answered by the DHA

1.What are the requirements related to COVID-19 tests for arriving passengers?

All tourists and visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test report, not older than 96 hours, at the passport control counter.

Depending on the COVID-19 situation in each country, the PCR test can be requested upon arrival at Dubai.

All residents of Dubai returning to the city will require to do a PCR test upon arrival at Dubai Airports.

2. If it is 96 hours, is the validity applicable from the time of giving the swab sample for testing or is it from the time of receiving the test result?

It is valid from the time of giving the swab sample for testing.

3. Emirates has said that passengers arriving from 12 countries should get the test done and the test is valid for 96 hours. Is this applicable to other airlines also?

It is advisable to check with the flight operator concrned before travelling.

4. Is Dubai airport providing mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival for all passengers? Is it free of cost?

COVID-19 PCR test is mandatory upon arrival (for both UAE nationals and residents) at the airport. It is currently free of cost.

5. What are the health forms and mobile applications that passengers are required to submit / download?

Arriving passengers are required to sign the health declaration form and must download COVID-19 DXB SMART APP.

6. What are the other screening methods adopted at the airport terminals?

Travellers are checked for fever upon arrival at Dubai airports. A health declaration form must be filled and submitted to the airline operator prior to boarding the flights

7. What are the guidelines for quarantine for arriving passengers?

Arriving passengers (UAE nationals or residents) are required to quarantine until the “negative” test result is out.

For tourists, if they arrive with a valid COVID-19 negative test result (not more than 96 hours), they don’t have any movement restrictions.

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